Virginia KMP celebrates 100 years

DALLAS, TX — When W.E. Eustis started Eustis Smelting Works in Virginia in 1899, he could not have conceived that 100 years later the offspring — Virginia KMP — would be a supplier of air conditioning and refrigeration components and products.

So how did the company transform from a copper smelting operation to serving the hvacr industry? During the 1920s, it developed a process to produce dry sulfur dioxide (SO2) and methyl chloride, which became the refrigerants of choice for domestic refrigerators until the advent of DuPont’s Freon, according to the company.

Name changes in 1961 and 1965 resulted in Virginia Chemicals, Inc. In 1967, the company acquired the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Products division of The Ansul Co., a manufacturer of filter-driers and moisture indicators.

Further acquisitions included Components Manufacturing Co. of Oklahoma City — manufacturer of receiver-driers and other components for the automotive air conditioning replacement market — in 1971.

Virginia Chemicals expanded into Texas in 1975, eventually relocating the whole refrigeration and air conditioning division to its current Dallas location.

In 1981, the company was merged into the Celanese Corp. as a wholly owned subsidiary and Celenese soon found a buyer for the refrigeration and air conditioning division of Virginia Chemicals.

A Norwegian company, Lai Berg Holding A/S, purchased the division in 1984 and renamed the company Virginia KMP — its current name. The KMP came from a partnership between Lai Berg and Kenmore Machined Products of Lyons, NY.

Virginia KMP — a registered ISO 9001 company — is now part of an international group of companies under Lai Berg Holding A/S, with worldwide operations.

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